While this year winds down (18 more days), I am going to write about some of the activities I have done this year. Last Friday, we took a group of 60 5th graders to Carowinds in the Carolinas. We competed in Carowinds Coaster Mania. The students spent the past 4 months building roller coasters with the help of some volunteers from Gulf Stream. They taught the students about the physics and science behind a roller coaster. (Here is the video played on WSAV from last years STEM trip).
After taking the time to build our coaster (our theme was Angry Birds) we took the kids up to Carowinds on a charter bus (they sold Kripsy Kreme doughnuts to help earn the money). We spent the whole day at Carowinds, and presented our coasters to their engineers. The rest of the day we spent riding roller coasters! Its so much fun working with the students when they are outside of the classroom. Even when riding roller coasters (or at least waiting in line) there were so many teaching opportunities (such as explaining the electricity and how it runs to the bumper cars).
Six Flags Scavenger Hunt
While looking for some opportunities for next years STEM program, I came across Six Flags Gogo Coaster Competition. It simply requires a coaster design (it can be built, like ours) and a photo or drawing of the design with the Gogo character in it. I think, since we already have a coaster built, we may be entering it into Six Flags competition as well.
The other interesting thing I found when looking on Six Flags education site, is the Elementary Education Days, and the activities Six Flag has developed for K-5 students. There are the obvious activities such as science & physics, as well as creative and problem solving activities (including a cool one on crowd control). However the activity that impressed me the most was the Six Flags over Georgia Scavenger Hunt. There was a lot of Georgia History, including Civil War History, built into the scavenger hunt and the actual design of the Six Flags tehem park. I never knew how much of the park was designed and based off of things in Georgia history.